An unusual afternoon kick off will see the league’s top two teams face off in what might be a crucial, season defining match. Derby tomorrow Sunday at 15:00 CET.
It’s been a very long time since the Derby Della Madonnina has carried so much significance. For the first time in over a decade, the two Milanese giants face each other as the top two sides in Italy’s top flight.
The winner of the derby will end the week as the league leader, making it the first Scudetto derby, or Scuderby, for the first time since 2011.
Having just overtaking Milan in the standings, Inter know that a victory here can see them pull away from their city rivals, creating a four point gap behind them. Milan, on the other hand, having just lost the lead will want to regain the top of the table quickly.
Both sides know that a draw serves neither, and so, expect both teams to go for all three points. Inter will want to continue the form and display shown against Lazio. Expect Antonio Conte to deploy a similar, if not identical, starting eleven.
Conte will want to make sure that Milan’s primary attacking threats in Hakan Calhanoglu and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are neutralized before building any offensive plans. As such, expect Marcelo Brozovic to be deployed in a more defensively responsible role than usual.
Conte will want to make sure than Stefano Pioli cannot plan for an Inter primary channel of attack, which will probably mean than Christian Eriksen centrally, Achraf Hakimi on the right flank and Ivan Perisic on the left flank will all have license to attack and create to avoid giving Milan a reference point.
Although this match is extremely important for Inter, it is even more important for Milan who have just lost the lead and have not won their last two matches. Expect Milan to try and take this game to Inter, which would probably play right into Conte’s plans.
Remarkably, all of Alessandro Bastoni, Marcelo Brozovic and Nicolo Barella made it un-suspended to the match. However, the less positive news is that man of glass Stefano Sensi has injured himself yet again and is unavailable for selection. Antonio Conte otherwise has a complete roster to choose from.
Probable Line-up (3-5-2): Handanovic (C); Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Eriksen, Brozovic, Barella, Perisic; Lautaro, Lukaku
Last Season: Milan 0 – 2 Inter.
Last 10 Head to Head: Despite losing the last derby della Madonnina, Inter hold an eye-watering record of six wins and one single loss over the previous ten matches.
Keep an Eye on:
Christian Eriksen: The Danish forward had one of his best performances of the last couple of years alongside Marcelo Brozovic in the midfield against Lazio last weekend.
Eriksen is being touted by many pundits to get yet another start in another crucial match this week. Erisken will have to be at his tactically disciplined best if he’s to add value to Inter’s performance, this is the derby and defensive contributions count as much as the offense.
Referee: Daniele Doveri.
Assistant referees: Peretti and Carbone.
Fourth Official: Guida.
VAR: Mariani and Bindoni.
Prediction & Concluding Remarks
Prediction & scorers: Milan 1 – 3 Inter with Lukaku, Eriksen and Barellal to win it for the good guys.
Concluding remarks: The derby is the derby. All questions of form and readiness are thrown out the window for the ninety minutes of the match. Inter are the better side; they must prove that by both performance and effectiveness in front of goal.